Yes, we get it. It's extremely overwhelming to receive or gift yourself a little fur ball on the most wonderful time of the year! But that puppy that comes with a red bow under the Christmas tree also comes with great responsibilities.
A pup for Christmas.
What's the plan?
Whether or not getting a puppy was expected or simply a surprise, you need to know what to do with him. Will the little guy be part of your family? Or would you not be committed enough and just take him to the shelter or give him away?
He's cute, he's fluffy but other than that, what else do you know about your dog's breed? If you've decided to keep him, you have to know his specific needs, temperament, instincts, and a lot more. Remember not all dog breeds are the same. Some are more needy than the others.
Set up routines early.
Puppies are fast learners so it's best to start them young. If you opt to let your puppy sleep in his crate or on his own dog bed, then don't start off by allowing him to sleep beside you on your bed, as it will be confusing when he gets older and can no longer be on your bed. If you want him to stay off the couch, then make him stay off the couch from the get-go by not allowing him up there.
Keep vaccines updated.
Your pup will be susceptible to illnesses all year round but there are illnesses that your dog can be most prone to especially in the winter time. Puppies are fragile since their immune system is still building up. Keeping vaccinations updated is the best step in being able to prevent certain diseases.
It's important to be able to socialize your dog with other dogs and other people. This will help your pup develop his manners. Early socialization will help your dog have better coping skills. Positive socialization experiences will make your puppy a stable dog. If he's not well-socialized, he'll always be afraid or aggressive towards new dogs, new people and new places. Ensure he is a well-rounded pup that gets a long with any new dog or person that he crosses by socializing him right away and consistently.
Begin potty training.
Know that your pup is still learning to control everything around him. That being said, you probably might have noticed why your pup pees or poops every now and then. That's because they still don't have full control over their bladder and bowel or understand where the appropriate spot is to go potty.
You can decide whether or not you'll housebreak your pup by eliminating outside or inside (by the help of pee pads). Learning takes time so have patience if your pup has accidents and never ever punish him. Punishments will only make your dog scared of you and the potty training more difficult.
Use dog diapers.
Prior to potty training, if those little accidents is driving you insane, dog diapers will surely come in handy. They are easy to use and the market has a wide variety of dog diaper/belly band sizes and you will surely find the right fit for your pup. These diapers can prevent it from happening inside your home and avoid messy indoor accidents.
It’s definitely easy to get carried away with adding a new four-legged family member, but don’t let the cuteness overwhelm you. Getting a dog for Christmas is not just for the holidays but a lifetime of commitment and patience.